Culture vultures might often be torn when travelling: do you spend that last bit of energy visiting more galleries, or relax back at the hotel and recharge the batteries? Thankfully, especially in the cultural continent of Europe, art hotels offer both temptations at once. Rather than pick a chain hotel with standard style, or a boutique hotel with a strong style, art hotels are there to surround their guests with beautiful aesthetics.
We’re talking contemporary hotels that exude a gallery feel, as well as rooms that are an art installation themselves - there’s enough on offer that it will feel like a wasted opportunity not to stay in hotels that don’t have Dali on their walls.
So if you’re all about art, here are five places to stay that the Flexicover team think are as pretty as a picture.
La Colombe d'Or, Saint Paul de Vence, France
The appeal of art is found in both its skill and its story - and the latter makes La Colombe d’Or the first hotel we’d recommend. The hotel began life in 1920 as a café-bar on the French Riviera, which later improved with three rooms for guests. The original owner was an art enthusiast and often offered the rooms in exchange for paintings, which to this day cover the walls. Still in the same family’s hands, the tradition continues on: most recently, Irish Turner Prize nominee Sean Scully lent his talents to the hotel, now with 13 rooms. For any art fan, it’s a spiritual home.
Arte Luise Arthotel, Berlin, Germany
Head to the trendy east side, where there’s street art outside and contemporary art inside, and it’s clear that Berlin and beauty go hand in hand. But we love the classic restraint of Arte Luise in Berlin-Mitte, a unique hotel where each room follows a strong theme chosen by its artist. Rooms range from basic singles with subtle styles, like the yellow room (which is exactly as you’d expect) to bold masterpieces like Three Women in Red, with a mural taking over one of the otherwise-striped walls. Choose your favourite and indulge in it for a night or two.
Le Méridien, Vienna, Austria
As well as being an excellently-located hotel with an elegant restaurant, a DJ, Moët Champagne bar, luxury spa facilities and complimentary minibar, Le Méridien takes their art seriously. Rising Austrian artists fill the exhibition space of the hotel, while an array of art and sculpture line the hotel hallways. Ready for an immersive experience? You’re in luck: two art suites are creatively styled by specially commissioned artists to link exterior and interior views, resulting in clever ideas and a visually compelling experience. Be warned: these top-end rooms cost around £400 a night, so it’s a splurge of a stay.
Hotel Adriatic, Rovinj, Croatia
It says plenty about its decadence that Hotel Adriatic is a small boutique hotel which houses Croatia’s largest collection of whiskies; it’s not standard accommodation by any means. Also within its walls there’s over 100 bespoke artworks designed to live within its space. Artists from all over the globe helped to create the varied collection that’s admired by its guests. But that’s not its only draw: it’s also well-priced, located on the waterfront right by Rovinj train station and acts as a social hub for locals and visitors as well as residents.
The Dolder Hotel, Zürich, Switzerland
Step into the Dolder Hotel on the outskirts of Zürich and you’ll find it starts as it means to go on as the first thing you’ll notice is Andy Warhol’s Big Retrospective Painting behind the front desk. The hotel is full of famous names like Dali, Henry Moore, Fernando Botero and Zaha Hadid. iPads are available to guide interested guests around the hotel, explaining a little more about the art found in its foyer and walls. A wonderful blend of art gallery and upscale hotel, its plush rooms are equally thought-through with Kerstin Florian toiletries, a Bang & Olufsen television and Nespresso coffee machines.
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.